What was the aim of starting the OnePlus brand?
Before I started OnePlus, I was in the business of manufacturing products. At that time I saw the market and there were a lot of companies making phones. But there weren’t many producing good quality phones. Even as a customer I saw that there are a lot of products in the market but when it came to deciding which phone to buy, the options were limited. Even at the time of the launch, the media asked why I wanted to enter a market which had so many brands. I asked the media what is the one brand they would want to buy. They did not have an answer. That proved that there was space for OnePlus. The aim was to build the best-quality product [and sell] at an affordable price.
How important is the Indian market for OnePlus in the global scheme of things?
India has the market with the most potential. Currently, the performance of the Indian market is very good. Especially in the premium market in India, the influence of the brand is meeting our expectations. In terms of a single country, India is No. 2 but we see the entire EU as one market and that is No. 1. In terms of sales contribution, one-third is from India.
How do you plan to grow the OnePlus brand in the Indian market?
We will continue to focus on producing the best flagship Android phone. We want to grab the market. Our purpose is that customers in India say that the best Android phone is a OnePlus. That will define our success. There is no other way to build our brand. The only way is to build the best product and provide the best service. Our marketing budget in India is actually very small. This is a trend that will continue. Word of mouth is our marketing strategy and we will not spend much on marketing here.
How important has the manufacturing ecosystem in Shenzhen been for the company? Do you think that OnePlus will ever manufacture its products in India?
The ecosystem in Shenzhen is very healthy. The supply chain and manufacturing facilities are second to none in the world. Shenzhen has also attracted a lot of global talent and it is now an international metropolis. The ecosystem in India is also growing. Once it matures, local manufacturing will also be a big opportunity for us.